Check Out How Lyon Porter is Elevating the B&B Concept Through His Unique Design Aesthetic
We are obsessed with The Dive Motel and Swim Club in Nashville, a revamped 1956 motor inn that's oozing with 1970s charm (think: layered textures of vintage 70’s wallpaper, custom furniture, wood paneling, hand-picked knick-knacks!).
This creative venture was designed by Urban Cowboy’s Lyon Porter and Jersey Banks who are renowned for elevating the B&B concept through their unique design aesthetic.
To learn more about the project, we had the chance to speak with Lyon Porter about his vision and what's next for Urban Cowboy.
How did you discover your passion for design?
It was really by accident actually!
I designed my first project for myself, which was my own personal townhouse that eventually turned into Urban Cowboy B&B.
Tell us more about how you styled each room and how you sourced the products for the motel?
We set out to create something truly unique, and I think we've accomplished that which is extremely rewarding.
Every room has something a bit different and has a disco ball attached to a party switch. Each room was a rabbit hole, from the Pink Jane Mansfield room to the shag carpet double soaking tub in the Penthouse Honeymoon Suite! They are all just little slices of fun and we took cues from images to create a sense of nostalgia for the past.
For sourcing, we went on these crazy pickin’ trips in Round Top, Texas, during the world's largest arts and antiques fair, and we filled up 30-foot trucks full of antiques. It was such a blast. I recommend it to anyone looking to find amazing found objects! The wallpapers were all found and original from the '50s, '60s and '70s. I believe one was even from Ukraine!
The color schemes are different in each wallpaper and came from a classic Verner Panton color gradient of yellows, oranges and browns, though we also have pinks and reds and greens and all sorts of other ones.
For the murals, we worked with Meg and Stinky from I Saw The Sign, a Nashville-based creative agency specializing in traditional hand-painted signage and design. They were so amazing to collaborate with on this project! They worked off of inspiration images from the past that we gave to them.
What is the design process like for you?
For this property specifically, I had so much fun designing because it wasn’t a “precious” project.
My whole motto with the design here was "nothing is sacred”. The design process for me is like jazz – less formulaic than people might expect, which drives everyone mad.
How do you design projects differently, based on location?
It's really about what the property, city and energy of the space is offering. When we opened Urban Cowboy Nashville on the East Side of town it was very important that it didn't feel like we were trying to bring Brooklyn to Nashville.
It was in an old Victorian Mansion, so I let the asymmetrical nature of the property dictate what we did with the property. The musical nature of the city inspired me to create a musical parlor. In the end, its about the space being authentically unique and ensure nothing feels forced….if I've accomplished that then I've done my job.
What's next for you?
My next project spans 68 acres atop a mountain in Upstate New York… get ready for Urban Cowboy Catskills!